UE BOOM Bluetooth portable speaker promises 15hrs of social songs

Ultimate Ears has launched a new portable speaker, the UE BOOM, which the Logitech-owned audio company claims is no normal Bluetooth gadget but in fact the "first social music player." The cylindrical BOOM can run for up to 15 hours on its internal battery, while the fabric outer skin is waterproof for use poolside.

However, it's the speaker's social skills that Ultimate Ears is particularly keen to emphasize. The BOOM can connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, allowing music from, say, an iPhone and an iPad to be mixed up into the playlist.

However, it's also possible to pair two BOOM units together and create a traditional stereo pair. Alternatively, each can carry on pushing out its own stereo output, synchronized across each unit. You'll need an app to actually do the pairing, however, which is currently available for iOS and Android.

The UE BOOM works as a speakerphone, just as with most Bluetooth speakers, and there's NFC so that compatible devices can be tapped against the portable to pair them up straight away. Pairing information for up to eight devices can be stored, with a roughly 15m range.

Inside the IPX4-rated water resistant skin there are two 1.5-inch drivers and two 2-inch passive radiators; if you haven't got Bluetooth on your source device, it can be plugged into a standard 3.5mm stereo input. Ultimate Ears says the UE BOOM will recharge in 3.4hrs via a microUSB charger.

The UE BOOM is expected to go on sale in the US and Europe this month, with select Asia availability in June. It'll be priced at $199.99.